British Airways is continuing to expand the functionality of its health passport offerings. The airline’s VeriFLY app is now being enabled to store the data of up to nine people, meaning that an entire family could use it on one phone. Previously, travelers needed one device per person.
Health passports are being championed as one way to allow travel to resume this summer. Rather than being offered in a paper form such as a standard passport, the travel industry is looking into digital solutions. As such, health passports are currently optional to aid travel rather than mandatory.
Expanding its capabilities
British Airways has been working hard on its health passport offering. The VeriFLY app was the first solution adopted by the airline that was available to passengers. Initially launched on outbound flights to the US, Canada was soon added, in addition to every flight bound for the UK.
However, there was one problem. At the time, the VeriFLY app could only handle one passenger’s documents at once. This was no issue for people traveling alone or even couples with two mobile devices. However, traveling with children or older relatives without a phone would mean the whole family was joining the regular queue.
Thanks to the latest update to VeriFLY, documents for up to nine people can now be stored on one mobile device, effectively turning it into a family health passport.
How does it work?
The critical thing to know about the VeriFLY health passport is that you aren’t giving British Airways access to any data that they wouldn’t already get by using it. Documents not checked through the app still need to be checked at the airport, and it is governments setting the rules for what must be checked, not British Airways. Currently, vaccination status is irrelevant, with only COVID-19 tests and travel declarations being checked.
When using the app, passengers can upload travel documents in advance of their journey. Members of the VeriFLY team then verify these before even leaving for the airport. This has two benefits for the passenger. Firstly, there will be no nasty surprises at the airport if the documentation doesn’t meet the required standards.
However, using the app could also speed things up for passengers at the airport. With documents already verified, passengers can use separate check-in queues, saving time at the airport.
British Airways isn’t just relying on the VeriFLY health passport app. The airline’s owner, IAG, is also working with IATA on the IATA Travel Pass health passport. Meanwhile, Simple Flying recently reported that the airline had been implementing a health passport solution embedded into its check-in process for flights to India.
Do you think the expansion of VeriFLY to include up to nine people will make travel easier? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!